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Public Policy (MA)

Course Description

Multidisciplinary in scope, this MA aims to give a deep understanding of the creation and impact of public policy across institutions at local, national, regional and global levels.

You will benefit from distinctive synergies arising from a school specialising in both economics and politics. The MA offers strong training coupled with the ability to specialise in pathways including welfare social policy, sustainable environments, international development and emerging markets, security and rights) or to study flexibly across them. You can also undertake an extended project linked to a work placement.

The course is designed to appeal to those wishing to follow careers in public service or NGOs, including international agencies. A particular strength of this course is the link between theory and applications of public policy, with many application classes given by UK government analysts and with a strong series of Policy in Practice seminars.

The course has also now been selected as part of the Climate-KIC. http://www.climate-kic.org/for-students/

See the website http://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/subject-area/politics-and-international-relations-pg/ma-in-public-policy.aspx

Modules include:

- Economics of public policy
- Politics of public policy
- Economics of social policy
- Quantitative research methods
- Economics of health and ageing

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

What career can you have?

Our graduates have gone into many walks of life, from UK Ambassador, military officer, member of the SAS or intelligence analyst, to banker, political analyst, university lecturer, staff college lecturer, journalist, official in an international organisation or policeman.

Others have gone into industry, teaching, local government administration, work for charitable foundations or parliament. Our courses give both a deep understanding of the specific subject matter and a range of transferable skills that can be utilised in a wide variety of future careers.


Collaborate with academics who have personal experience of public policy, working for and in government departments and international organisations (including NATO), or as advisers to government (including in the UK, the US, France, Italy and Germany).

The level of our research has been recognised by visiting professorships at leading universities in other countries, high citations indices, and the translation of staff’s works into other languages.

You will have maximum exposure to leading scholars in small-unit teaching. Seminar sizes vary from five or fewer to around 15 students. We also have leading practitioners as guest speakers, and close relationships with other departments with converging interests in international relations, strategic studies, wars, their origins, and the resolution of conflicts.

We have more contact hours with our students than most other Politics departments in the country, resulting in a high degree of student satisfaction. We also offer many opportunities to develop your transferable skills for your future career.

Visit the Public Policy (MA) page on the University of Reading website for more details!

Student Profiles

School Bursary Scheme - 8 Awards

The School of Politics, Economics and International Relations is offering bursaries to students studying in 2015/16. These bursaries are worth £2,500 each and will be awarded in three equal payments during the academic year.There will be two rounds of applications for these scholarships. Unsuccessful applicants in the first round will be considered again in the second round.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible you must be applying to on of our Master's courses due to start Autumn 2015.

Application Procedure

To apply for a scholarship please send a statement (maximum 500 words) on ‘Why I should receive a scholarship and the contribution I will make to the life of the School’ to [email protected] for applications to be considered are:- 1st May (for the first round of applications)
- 1st August (for the second round of applications)Please include in the subject line ‘Bursary Scheme application’. Please also include your name, programme of study and student number with your application.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Students should have a good first degree in Politics, Economics, International Relations or in related fields. These might, for example, include geography, history or social policy. Students with practical experience in the field are also encouraged to apply

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